We are called “for the children’s sake”
There is a pressing need for access to justice for parents in disputes concerning children. Family court rolls are overloaded and social services are inadequately resourced. Children are forgotten in the parental dialogue of antagonism and suffer. The problem is to resolve protracted parental conflict in a restorative way and in the best interests of the children.
“for the children’s sake” is an organisation of 40 to 50 volunteers drawn from the legal and health care professions. By providing free mediation services we fix the need for workable, enforceable, therapeutic parenting solutions, and help parents in conflict to learn how to work cooperatively with each. This makes a meaningful difference to family, and builds social cohesion.
Our deliverables are parenting plans crafted in line with the Children’s Act. We provide access to the right resources, parental buy-in to the solution, and the child’s voice is heard. Working pro bono, we mediate matters referred to us by the Family and Domestic Violence courts. Parties appear in court after mediation where the mediated agreement is made an order of court. The litigation process is resolved completely.
We have been operating in the Wynberg magistrates courts in Cape Town for several years, and have positively affected over 5000 people. We have reduced the load on the courts and delivered justice that is accessible and easy to understand. Over 80% of cases are successfully resolved, and the time and emotional damage prevented by avoiding a trial is difficult to measure. It is justice that works.
We are in the process of structuring our organisation so that we can scale what we do to a wider constituency. In collaboration with the Department of Justice our strategy is to extend our services to other magistrates’ courts in the greater Cape Town area initially, and then throughout South Africa.
The Executive Committee
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